On the Road and In Your Backyard

Good Morning All,

This weekday feature is for Juicers who are are on the road, traveling, or just want to share a little bit of their world via stories and pictures. So many of us rise each morning, eager for something beautiful, inspiring, amazing, subtle, of note, and our community delivers – a view into their world, whether they’re far away or close to home – pictures with a story, with context, with meaning, sometimes just beauty. By concentrating travel updates and tips here, it’s easier for all of us to keep up or find them later.

So please, speak up and share some of your adventures and travel news here, and submit your pictures using our speedy, secure form. You can submit up to 7 pictures at a time, with an overall description and one for each picture.

You can, of course, send an email with pictures if the form gives you trouble, or if you are trying to submit something special, like a zipped archive or a movie. If your pictures are already hosted online, then please email the links with your descriptions.

For each picture, it’s best to provide your commenter screenname, description, where it was taken, and date. It’s tough to keep everyone’s email address and screenname straight, so don’t assume that I remember it “from last time”. More and more, the first photo before the fold will be from a commenter, so making it easy to locate the screenname when I’ve found a compelling photo is crucial.


I’m slowly getting close to having more time to spend on this feature and the site – please bear with and grant me a bit more patience.

Today’s contribution is from JR in WV and next week there will be more!

Before we get to JR’s pictures, I’ve got a few things to share: last time I was in Santa Fe, I was rushed into emergency surgery for a burst appendix and was scarily close to being too far gone to save. I woke from the surgery and asked the doc and nurse if I could possibly make the opera the following night as I was looking forward to it. They smiled at me and assured me that “you never know”, and yes, I was on major doses of opiate drip joy. And no, I didn’t make it, nor the following opera two days later.

Veterans will appreciate that the surgeon who saved my life – no exaggeration – had been/was a Green Beret surgeon/instructor and since I was so funky, he didn’t really close me up so much as (literally!) used a safety pin to attach/wrap the flesh and otherwise keep the wound open. He encouraged me to get a bar of soap and scrub in there in the shower. Not sure if he was joking, but I didn’t do it (he was a bit nutty – spinning eyes and intensely gung-ho).

After I was discharged and before we left Santa Fe, I requested some chiles. The 6 hour drive back to Canon City, Colorado was the nicest-smelling you can imagine. Fresh-roasted Hatch and Socorro chiles are a drug. My oozing, open abdominal surgical cut sucked as I felt every inch of every inch of road that was horizontally not true; I intimately know the meaning of “shimmy shimmy shake”. Two days later, I was in surgery again to clean things out, and I began a slow recovery.

More recently, I had the pleasure of visiting Taos in August and it was glorious – no issues, good food, good touristy stuff, neat art. Perhaps I’ll dig up my pictures of the earthships there. At times I felt like I was on Tattoine, for reals, though as I recall in Star Wars: Galaxies, there was only one small pond on the entire planet to fish in (which I did a LOT to craft stuff), and all around Taos, there’s lots of great fishing, especially for the all-wonderful trout.

Have a wonderful weekend folks, and enjoy these great pictures!

Oh, an afterword – as the son of an immigrant and someone who was born in Africa, all I can say is “Fuck Trump and his Deplorables and the shithole they want to turn this great country into”!

In the specific case of Haitian immigrants, my family has had two housekeepers over the years, both Haitian. These are women I’ve known most of my life and I consider them as family as anyone. They worked (and one still works!) hard to give their children here, and families back home, a better life. My current housekeeper has worked for my family for 28 years; I’ve seen her put her daughter through a very prestigious Catholic girls school, then college, then law school. She is now a lawyer serving the immigrant community and taking care of her still-working mom.

Only in America, this great melting pot and opportunity mill, can a poor immigrant who works as a housekeeper have the opportunity to move to the Nation’s Capitol, improve her child’s lot in life through education, hard work, opportunity, and, yes, charity. She didn’t come from a shithole – she came from a very poor country that’s been kept down for centuries, but those conditions sharpened her. Her strength of character has improved our national fabric, and she’s no longer some poor immigrant, she’s an American, my, your – the President’s – equal. She was the first person to learn of my mother’s death once I put down the phone, and we hugged and cried and shrieked. She’s a deeply religious woman, and it was important to me that she attend my mother’s funeral (it was a religious ceremony) and reception as a guest/family. I know this family, city, and country are better because of her, and that her home country desperately needs our help, not aggravation.

As most folks won’t get to know Haitian immigrants, I felt it necessary to specifically praise them; I’ve known and met and conversed with quite a few over the years, in English and French, and I’ve never been less than impressed. Like too many places, it’s not their fault for the poverty that market economics has forced upon their country and the effects that’s had intergenerationally.

So, like John, I may at times look like a bubba, but I see myself in all the people and countries these Deplorables insult. I know we all do here, that’s one amazing part of this incredible community.

Let’s grow together lest we be pulled apart.

Today, pictures from valued commenter J R in WV.

This was the beginning of our little expedition into the American South West. Santa Fe had a Native American Art fair over the weekend we were there. Part of the plan. It rained at first, but was very sunny the day we spent on Museum Hill.

We enjoyed the visit there a lot, great food, museums, art from every perspective. I don’t know how long it would take for me to feel at home there. It is very different from West Virginia.

Old Santa Fe – Protected Sidewalk

Taken on 2008-05-23

In the summer, a bit of shade in the heat. In the winter, keeps the rain off the adobe.

Nikon D70s 105mm F5.6 1/250 sec

El Farol – est. 1835

Taken on 2008-05-23

Oldest continuously operating bar in Santa Fe – according to their signage. Who knows, really>

Nikon D70s 27mm F5.6 1/4 sec

Canyon Road back yard

Taken on 2008-05-23

Canyon Road is almost all Art Galleries or restaurant/bars. It’s really a nice walk, so much beauty!

Nikon D70s 105mm F5.6 1/640 sec

Comanche Dancers

What ti says. Father and Daughter dancing, mother Shelly Morningstar was singing too. I suspect these guys win prizes at the big Pow Wows, amazing to see.

I tried to make it look like a hot summer on the plains, instead of a cool spring day on a hill top.

Nikon D70s 105mm F5.6 1/250 sec

I hate that there’s another photog in the background, didn’t want to blur that out, tho. It is what it was.

Desert between Santa Fe and Low Alamos (IIRC)

This is what the terrain is like around Santa Fe. Desert, snow capped mountains.

82mm f8.0 1/600 sec.

Waterfall in desert

Near Los Alamos, at an overlook. Contrast between the desert and the falling water.

57mm f8.0 1/1259 sec

Lush Santa Fe Courtyard

Behind those adobe building fronts, there are courtyards. Many of them aren’t lush green like this, more brick pavers and a little fountain. But this, this was a fabulous green contrast with the stark desert around the actual town.

27mm f5.6 1/250 sec.


Thank you so much J R in WV, do send us more when you can.


Travel safely everybody, and do share some stories in the comments, even if you’re joining the conversation late. Many folks confide that they go back and read old threads, one reason these are available on the Quick Links menu.


One again, to submit pictures: Use the Form or Send an Email

24 replies
  1. 1
    JPL says:

    J R in WV, Thank you so much for sending in the pictures, and Alain thank you for your comments.

  2. 2
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Let’s grow together lest we be pulled apart.


  3. 3
    Central Planning says:

    Alain, the OP:

    And no, I didn’t make it, nor the following opera two days later.

    So, this is zombie Alain?

  4. 4
    eclare says:

    Great photos, I have to get out there sometime! And thank you, Alain, for your thoughtful words. My mom has been in the hospital quite a bit lately, I’d estimate 30-40% of her nurses and doctors have been immigrants. A lot of people will be in for a shock if immigrants decide that the US is turning into a shithole and stay put or go somewhere else.

  5. 5
    Quinerly says:

    Thanks for the great pictures and for Alain’s story. On the road myself to New Mexico. Southern route this time for me and prowling around the state until the end of February. All new route and new things to see. It always is the Land of Enchantment for me…..and El Farol is one of my favorite SF hangs. I’m hoping the refurbishing I have been reading about on line hasn’t changed it much. I tucked away some of a friend’s ashes behind a loose plank there in 2015. It had been one of his favorite haunts in the late 1970’s…he said it had a dirt floor back then. Have a great day, everyone!

  6. 6
    mai naem mobile says:

    Oh, Alain, Hatch chillies white recovering from abdominal surgery. Guess you were still high from the pain meds. I bought some Hatch chillies at a store here assuming they were Anaheims because they were in the spot where they normally have the Anaheims with no label. I cooked them and all before tasting them. Let me tell you. Big difference.
    Also too, buck and fuck Dolt45.

  7. 7
    Quinerly says:

    Deleted. Oops. Wrong thread.

  8. 8
    J R in WV says:

    Dear Alain:

    Thanks so much for the moving exposition on immigration in your introduction to my little photo set. My software team was able to bring people to America to work with us on our project, and without those people the software would have been impossible for the three of us employees to develop.

    We interviewed folks with accents on the phone, and one I will never forget, at the end of our earnest questioning we always asked if they have any questions about the work or where we were, in West Virginia, which I know they never heard of before.

    Arpan asked “Is it very cold there?” We chuckled a little and told him, yes, we have a winter here, but it wasn’t like the weather where he was, in the far northern plains, like Fargo. Where we learned later he was standing, in February, in an outdoor phone booth, wearing both his sweaters. Arpan was a charming and brilliant young man who knew very little about America when he came here with everything he owned in a small carry-on bag. Like my great-grandparents came over.

    There was a charming culture clash some mornings. But we got to see him go home on long visits each year, get married to a lovely girl his parents helped him find. Eventually he got a green card, moved on to Maryland where he became a software genius in service to some giant project there in the beltway. and a proud American father of tiny new Americans.Who are now probably in high school at least? Wow!

    So… a similar story to yours. Probably would have 20 of those stories, but I got to know Arpan especially well because we worked so closely, and he sat very near me, and never hesitated to ask me about those culture clashes, which as I say were usually charming.

    Proud to have a tiny part in the story of these great people’s lives. I know most of them would have been just as successful somewhere else, but they were working here with us first. So yay, us!

    It was an interesting career.

    Hope the pictures are fun for all!

  9. 9
    Waratah says:

    Thank you J R, Santa Fe is one of my favorite places.

  10. 10
    Waratah says:

    Alain I have a recipe for those hatch green chili’s that my family loves. My husbands Aunt sent us the recipe when they started growing the chilies in Dexter New Mexico. I will post it if you are interested.

  11. 11
    laura says:

    @Quinerly: have you got your navigator with the swoopy tail along for the trip too?
    If so, will there be pensive poco pics?

  12. 12
    Leto says:

    SW:G- Wookie medic checking in! My wife and I also made some really, really good friends in SW:G. Poop game, but great memories. Thanks Alain!

    J R in WV, thanks for the great pictures!

  13. 13
    Tenar Arha says:

    I love that photo of the dancers @J R in WV. I’d like to think, somewhere the photographer that’s in your photograph is looking at you in her photographs too. (It’s comforting somehow to think our lives touch by such chances in a way).

  14. 14
    Miss Bianca says:

    I love Santa Fe. My sister, an artist, used to live in Pecos, and knew a lot of the Native American artists who would set up for that art fair, right under those overhangs on the Plaza. We missed going down there this year, but maybe next year. Thanks, J R!

  15. 15
    Alain the site fixer says:

    @Waratah: yes please! I’ve got some on the frreezer, waiting…

  16. 16
    Quinerly says:

    @laura: Always Poco! I spend months planning these trips around him (and Leo before him). I actually sent Alain back in December a picture of Poco exhausted after “trip planning.”

  17. 17
    Waratah says:

    Chiles Rellenos Jose: Circa 1972
    Source Denverpost.com
    * 1 can (1 pound, 10 ounces) whole green chiles, or 18 whole green chiles
    * 1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, cut into strips about 1 inch wide, 3 inches long and 1/4-inch thick
    * 5 large eggs
    * 1/4 cup flour
    * 1 1/4 cups milk
    * 1/2 teaspoon salt
    * Black pepper to taste
    * Liquid red pepper (or hot sauce) to taste
    * 1/2 pound cheddar cheese, grated
    * Paprika
    Carefully rinse seeds from chiles with cold water. Spread chiles in single layer on paper towel. Carefully pat chiles dry with another piece of paper towel. Carefully slip a strip of Monterey Jack cheese into each chile. Beat eggs. Gradually add flour, beating until smooth. Add milk, salt, black pepper and liquid red pepper or hot sauce. Beat thoroughly. Arrange half of the stuffed chiles in well-greased, shallow baking dish (9 by 13 inches). Sprinkle with half the cheddar cheese and the paprika. Repeat layers, ending with cheese. Carefully pour egg mixture over all. Bake, uncovered, in oven preheated to 350 degrees about 45 minutes or until knife inserted between chiles in custard comes out clean.
    Sent from Paprika Recipe Manager

  18. 18
    Waratah says:

    Alain, we like cheese so I use almost a pound of the cheddar.
    This is good any time of the day, my daughter loves to eat the leftovers from the night before for breakfast.

  19. 19
    Skepticat says:

    We have a large Haitian population here in the Bahamas, with about a dozen living on this tiny island, and I have never seen people work so hard and complain so little. When we first came here, almost fifty years ago, my father sponsored the children of the caretaker so they could enter the U.S. and go to college. All five of them now are outstanding professionals–doctors, lawyers, or educators. Were it not for where they were born, each of them could serve ably as president of the United States. Too bad the current pResident who looks down on them can’t.

  20. 20
    laura says:

    @Quinerly: Thank goodness! I’m hoping you’ve packed some campaign neckerchiefs and scads of flags for the Baud/Poco 2020 campaign ads.

  21. 21
    Aleta says:

    @Waratah: You’ve made my day with this. I used to eat chiles rellenos and posole at a small place in Espanola a few times a week.

    @Quinerly: Very cool to think of you two mammals in motion again, on the way to the great SW. Blue skies.

  22. 22
    J R in WV says:

    @Tenar Arha:

    How true, I am probably in those photographs. Unless she was a much better photog than I am and managed to crop me out behind a wing or something.

    When we were in Denver last fall, our hotel room was above rooftops across the street. At least 3 times we saw photo shoots on the roof of a parking deck over there. I have photos of those photo shoots, which were after all out in a public space…

    I won’t post those, I don’t think, unless they come out better than I expect. But the all copper roof of the old mansion now a museum, that’s another story.

  23. 23
    J R in WV says:


    Wow, thanks for the recipe !!!

  24. 24
    debbie says:

    Thanks, Alain, for your words. A nice counterbalance to the crap I’ve listened to all day.

Comments are closed.